Blog-archive

192 days till Cape Town

Cape Agulhas, southernmost point of my journey as well as of Africa
Cape Agulhas, southernmost point of my journey as well as of Africa

After 192 day, March 28, I arrived in Cape Town. Within 128 driving days I made 16972 km, which makes an average of 132,6 km every day. Monday I’m flying back home. Next Saturday, 17 Apr there will be a welcome party at my home (Ziemetshausen, Raiffeisenstr. 17) starting at 3 pm. Everyone who is enjoying that I’m healthy back is very welcome. It might get squeezed as I don’t know how many people are coming. Some are bringing cakes, but I don’t know if there will be enough. Everybody is welcome to bring something as well, but it is not necessary. I’m looking forward to the party and the guests!

Interview at Cape Town

At the editorial office
At the editorial office

Today I have been at the editorial office of a paper of Cape Town. There I was interviewed by Antonia Heil, born in Hof (Bavaria), for the “Kapstadtmagazin”. Among other things we talked about my journey through Africa, impressions of Cape Town and my further cycle plans. I’ve been contacted because of an article in the internet. The article about me appeared under

www.kapstadtmagazin.de.

The botanic garden

In front of the Table Mountain
In front of the Table Mountain

Yesterday I made a trip in the surroundings and had a view at the wonderful Botanic Garden. As you see at the photo is the backdrop of the Botanic Garden very impressive. The manifold flora from small flowers to huge trees is especially good at this side of the Table Mountain. I bought seeds and hope that they will grow at home. Here you can see as well the only atomic power plant of South Africa.

Preparation for Bavaria

At the beer garden
At the beer garden

Fortunately you can find everything in Cape Town. Therefore I wanted to have to my shandy not a “Pretzel” but a knuckle of pork. Unfortunately it was sold out. Therefore I had schnitzel which was very good. The service woman wore a winter jumper as it was too cold (round 28°C!) for her to wear a blouse to her dirndl. Tomorrow there will be the “2 Ocean Marathon” and a few thought I would walk there. I started in Berlin and Munich nearly 10 yrs ago, therefore it would appeal me to start here as well. But it is too hard for a spontaneous run and I stayed the last seven months on the bike.

On top of the Table Mountain of Cape Town

View above Cape Town
View above Cape Town

Yesterday it was the best weather to go to the top of the Table Mountain. After 90 min I’ve been at the platform with this wonderful view above Cape Town. In the middle of the photo you find the centre of the city, left hand you see the oval of the new football stadium. The mountain offers all around views which have been enjoyed as well from many other people as it was cloudy the last few days.

Visit by Steffi at the 2inn1 in Cape Town

The 2inn1 at the bottom of the Table Mountain in Cape Town
The 2inn1 at the bottom of the Table Mountain in Cape Town

Steffi, who is the nice of Karl Hack, is the Guesthouse manager at the 2inn1 in Cape Town. The 5 star house is in the good part of the town. Here lives as well Helen Zille, who is the Prime minister of Western Cape.

 

Three years ago Klaus and Christoph, the former owners of Ess9 in Munich, renovated the classy Victorian villa. Together with Steffi they built a unity, so that Steffi says about her employment that it is the paradise of earth. Every day she starts with love and happiness in the 2inn1, where she, together with her highly motivated team, is reading every wish of her guests out of their eyes. According to guest appraisal it is the second house in Cape Town (www.tripadvisor.com). More information you can get under www.2inn1.com.

Arrival in Cape Town

Stefanie Landherr, born in Ziemetshausen, welcomed me
Stefanie Landherr, born in Ziemetshausen, welcomed me

Yesterday, 4 pm, I arrived in Cape Town. I’ve been welcomed by Stefanie Landherr who is living since two years in Cape Town. Stefanie Landherr is a daughter and nice from my neighbourhood in Ziemetshausen.

 

In the morning I’ve been still at the Cape of Good Hope, the south-west point of Africa. After 16972 km I’m now over happy to have reached the aim of my tour without having an accident and being in time. And now I’m looking around the town and its ambience. At the moment it is 25°C and cloudless.

Soon I have to say Good bye to Keetmanshoop

A small farewell party has to be
A small farewell party has to be

For a small party to say Good bye I sponsored the food and drinks. You don’t see all members of “Mother’s Voice”, but these have been always there. Altogether there are 20 people. Yesterday I renewed the silicone gap between tilling and sink. We prepared the small party altogether. We are all a bit sad, but my journey is not on the end yet. This project is not easy. The sister of Isak, unfortunately hardly to see on the photo, had to go to hospital in Windhoek. The man who we had to put into hospital last week died meanwhile. Even here in Namibia most of the people don’t want to be involved with HIV. That is good for HIV but very bad for the people who are ill. The disease could be killed off as it wouldn’t be passed on easily.  

 

Tomorrow I’m going on my way again. I’ll be packed up heavily as the next donation will be 160 km far away. Everything is as it used to be but it won’t be very far anymore.

Trip to the quiver tree wood

The quiver tree belongs to the aloe
The quiver tree belongs to the aloe

Today I cycled to the quiver tree wood (17 km). It was a very different feeling driving without baggage. The quiver tree got its name because its holed branches have been used to keep the arrows in it. They have there a hunting-leopard open-air enclosure where I’m allowed to go into.

Weaver birds built their nests in the tree
Weaver birds built their nests in the tree

Visit at the primary school across

A class with sister Maura-Philomena
A class with sister Maura-Philomena

Sister Maura-Philomena is the headmaster of the primary school. She is living just next to the rectory and asked if I would visit them. She likes coming for a chat when I’m sitting in front of the rectory. The children have been very nice and have been glad to see me. I’m going to print this photo 26 times!

Today’s team

In the kitchen
In the kitchen

From left: Anna, Kathi, Trudie, Tina, Katharina, Isak and Raimund. We have a nice time together despite the serious matter. In Namibia over 15% of the people are HIV-positive. That means that every family is involved somehow. The drugs are gratis in Namibia.

Today at the kitchen service

The shopping has to be assimilated
The shopping has to be assimilated

Shortly to yesterday: A man who is looked after by “Mother’s voice” didn’t take his medicine, we had to take him to hospital. This takes ages in Africa too. Katharina (sitting) was already active working again. Lots of food had to be prepared. I’m going to look for a new potato peeler as well as for something to sharpen knifes.

The chief

Trudie, the chief, welcomes me
Trudie, the chief, welcomes me

This was last Saturday. 10 years ago Trudie launched “Mother’s Voice”. She is a brilliant and remarkable chief. The last days have been very convenient. Trudie is keeping calm even if something doesn’t work as it should. Her husband, Isak, is the driver and I’m often with him on the way to do some shopping. Today he was out therefore Trudie and I went to the city for the shopping.

My first day at “Mother’s voice”

Today 7.30 a.m. I visited the service of padre Saju. The service her in Africa is compared with Germany more agile and many women are working active in it. Afterwards I met some of them at “Mother’s voice”. There are 20 women and men who are looking after people who are suffering of AIDS. Today we visited people who weren’t able to go to the service. The woman of the photo (with her grandson) is the mother of “Mother’s voice”. The voluntary aid organisation exists since 10 years. She started with her husband 12 years ago. Her husband ran many marathons. Unfortunately he died meanwhile. At the moment Kathrina is ill and gets treatment as well, but she is still active.She is a remarkable woman and we can cope very well. It’s very seldom to meet women with this charisma. The other sick persons have been encouraged about my visit. The helpers had been happy as well. They know the sick persons a long time and they do need some consolation now and than. I’ve got a good alliance with them and they have taken me in their heart the same way I’ve taken them in my heart.

 

Arriving in Keetmanshoop

In front of the manse
In front of the manse

I’ve been heartily welcomed in Keetmanshoop. Left from me you see padre Saju and on the right side padre Joseph and Valecia. We will see what I can do here. Unfortunately the padres have to leave next week for a further training. Therefore we are going to look today what I can do next week.

Tomorrow it’s going on

It was very nice here in Windhoek for the few days: strolling around, eating enough reserves for the rest of the tour and booking the flight home (14th April 2010). I needed a new saddle for the bike and I have to shorten the chain. Tomorrow I’m going on so that I’m in Keetmanshoop till Saturday. I’m going to visit the Salesianer mission and reporting again from there.

Today arrived in Windhoek

I didn’t think that I would make 3889 km in February. Therefore I managed the distance from Dar-es-Saalam to Windhoek within 4 weeks. There are only 1500 km till Cape Town.

 

Now I can do a bit slowly and start with regeneration. As I arrived very hungry in Windhoek I went to the inn Windhoek. I’ve been affiliated by the regulars’ table at once. Therefore I could speak German after a long while. I’m going to stay here a few days and will drop in the one or other time. Till next weekend I intend to be in Keetmanshoop where I’m going to visit the Salesianer mission.

Trip to Maun (Botswana)

You can’t pass me
You can’t pass me

18th of February I started in Livingstone and soon it started raining. Just before the border to Botswana it stopped raining. I saw an elephant just after the border in Botswana. I spent the night in the scrub with many marks of elephants. Not until I started to teardown the tent I heard an elephant trumpeting which made me to hurry up. 19th I had to struggle against the wind which came from south-east. I had only once the opportunity to buy something between the border and Nata. In the evening I had to be quick with setting up the tend as there has been a thunderstorm. There had been many marks as well as dirt of elephants. 20th I met and male elephant just next to the road (see photo). First I was worried that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to take some photos of elephants. Therefore I took my photos of this elephant and noticed that it wasn’t in a good mood. The big bull elephant was to near on the road to pass it. I would have driven direct in its tusks. I tried to chase it away, but it didn’t show any willingness to give the way free. Therefore I asked a truck-driver to help me. With this help I could pass it invisible. It couldn’t smell me because of the head wind. But it was till risky. After I passed the 90° bend in Nata I had back wind. I had back wind 21st till early evening. Although it was raining heavily 2 hours I got my best daily record of 268 km. Today I earned my day off.

In Livingstone

Too much water to take a photo
Too much water to take a photo

Yesterday I arrived in Livingstone. Who is watching the daily kilometres are astonished how good I get along. At the moment I have convenient wind and this opportunity I have to use. Even the first moments of elation to reach Cape Town are coming up. Indeed it causes still a lot of amazement when I tell how far I’m going to go. Nevertheless I was able to regenerate despite of exertions. I didn’t loose many weight so far. Therefore my forecast is clear. Today I have been at the Victoria waterfalls. It rained quite much lately so that it was nearly too many water. In the cloud of water I wasn’t able to take a photo and I didn’t see as well. The photo is taken from the side with backwind. Anyway I got very wet. Tomorrow I’m leaving Zambia and going through Botswana direction Namibia. I’m certainly will have there the opportunity to see animals again.

Devil is speaking English?!

Souvenir on Zambia: The wholes in the tent
Souvenir on Zambia: The wholes in the tent

Saturday, Feb 6, I passed the border to Zambia. As I crossed Zambia in the South already, I didn’t think much about the harshly acceptance. In some areas the people are more abrasive than in others. Sunday I figured already: I’m getting rarely back saluted, people laughed at me; there are many drunkards, who saw me as possible source of capital for their beer. The gazers just wanted to see the monkey on the bike. There are not many cute people. Did I land on another planet? Am I still in Africa? Nevertheless I tried to spend the night in a village but the inhabitants told me to go on. At least there haven’t been drunkards on Monday. But it wasn’t still nice. In the evening I came to Mpika where I stayed in a motel. It was funny as the distrustful guard asked me through the gap of the gate where my car is. But they have been friendly to me. Tuesday was frustrating as well. I didn’t manage to get to an accommodation in the evening. I didn’t hide very good as it was already getting dark. I don’t want to tread on a snake. Just after 11pm I awoke of a blow against my knee. I heard how more stones pitched against my tent. Despite my calls more stones flew and I heard men voiced full of hate so as they had to fight against the devil. For all I wanted to go to them to get them to sanity. But they are running away. I was going to bundle up quickly but they came back with increase and the stones flew again. I bellowed that I just wanted to sleep here because I’m very tired and that I’m a peaceful person. One of them caught on it. Slowly one after the other 8 heads of the against-devil-commando came in sight. They regretted it and I’m Christ as well as they. Certainly I can stay. But one of them wanted some money. I told him that for throwing stones I have no money! Like a miracle I didn’t get hit of stones except the one at the knee. Therefore I could stay defensive. Would I have escaped because of the stones the situation would have more escalated. In such an extreme situation most likely I would turn to a hurt bear which is hiding in a shrubbery to get its hunters. Despite this event I spent the following night as well in the tent. Wednesday and Thursday I didn’t salute on the road. I didn’t think that I could be so heartless. Friday I got over it. The people here are normal again.

The first rainy day

Yesterday I spent a famous day in the Mikumi National park. The fauna was very famous: gazelles, giraffes, capybaras and lots of baboons.

 

Today I needed the first time since I’m in Africa my rain-clothes.

Flight to Dar es Salaam

After a long and circumstantial flight from Yaoundé, today I arrived in the capital of Tanzania. I didn’t stay here but went on so that I made 78 km. My way is going always direction south-west. The next big city is Chalinze.

Speech at the Goethe-Institute in Yaoundé

A new challenge
A new challenge

As it was yesterday my first speech in front of audience I’m very satisfied with it. The room did have 80 seats and it was fully filled up. Actually I couldn’t hide my nervousness as well as my Swabian tongue. But it was my intention to show that German has got regional differences. In front of such an audience it was I enjoyed it very much. Accordingly to the day before yesterday I have 100 % more experience in giving speeches.

My further planning

My original planed route was going on to Gabon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola …

 

But it is very difficult to get a visa for Angola in Congo. In the rain season it is not possible to go around Angola. Therefore I’m going to take a plane to get to Darussalam in Tanzania. The flight will be in the night from Saturday to Sunday. From there I’m going to Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. And don’t worry it’s going to be easily 16000 km.

Visit in the Goethe- Institute

In the class of Mrs. Some
In the class of Mrs. Some

This morning I went with Mrs. Djiango to the Goethe-Institute. The visit in the class who have got the project “Raimundfreunde” was very funny. There German is already remarkably good. Wednesday I will have a speech at the Goethe-Institute. That will be a good exercise for the speech I’ll have when I’m at home again.

At Yaoundé

Yesterday I arrived in Yaoundé. After a few troubles I met Mr. Djiango at a petrol station. As there are distinctive buildings are helping for the navigation I was first at the wrong petrol station. My new mobile phone was very helpful. I think we wouldn’t have met without it.

 

In the home of family Djiango (Mrs. Djiango is known as sister of Mr. Josef Schalk in Ziemetshausen) I was very welcome. Today for lunch we had schnitzel and potato salad, especially for me, it is like at home for me!

 

Yaoundé is on 750 m above normal and I had to get up to it by bike. Because of this the climate is very comfortable. It is warm through the whole year and in the garden are growing pineapples, bananas, lemon grass (for a delicious tea) and coconuts. You can certainly imagine that it is very nice and I love it very much. The food is good as well.

 

Margit Djiango has still got her old car from Germany which is about 25 years old. Germany and Cameroon are mixed here. Only one thing is unthinkable for us: it is dry season here and the water is blocked! I used my approved bottle-shower.

 

Tomorrow I’ll be at the Goethe-Institute for making first preparations for my speech there. And I’m going to meet the class of Elisabeth. As we are already had active e-mail contact I’m looking forward to that very much.

Arrival in Douala

Last night I tented in front of a small hospital. For getting washed I had to go to a small ditch. The water was cool and clear and without crocodiles. The time for washing is different for women and men. It was an amusing washing round and afterwards I had a beer. It was very nice how I was accepted in the community. This evening I arrived in Douala, the biggest city of Cameroon. First I thought I wouldn’t get so far, but the wind and the very good road helped me. The people here are very friendly and helpful. Tomorrow I’m going to stay here to have a look at all my e-mails.

In Cameroon

Since Sunday I’m in Cameroon. But I can tell you that Nigeria is the friendliest country I came through so far. Indeed in Cameroon I’m also very welcome, but Nigeria is up to now my favourite. Last night I stayed with a family in a village in Cameroon. I got something to eat and in hall of the village I saw TV: soccer Cameroon-Zambia, 3:2

 

Certainly I passed over a bit of money to the very friendly and kind family for their hospitality.

 

Since the border the road is very bad through the jungle.

Today again across the river Niger

Thank you very much for the congratulations for my birthday 12th January. I was especially pleased about the mail of my mother (it was her first mail).

 

I passed the river Niger already in Bamako. Now, just after Onitsha I passed it again. I’ve done 9950 km so far. Either today or tomorrow I can celebrate the 10 000 km. Here in Nigeria it is very friendly. In 2-3 days I will be at the border to Cameroon.

Happy Birthday

Dear Raimund,

 

Happy birthday! For your travel we wish you health, little breakdowns and many interesting meetings with friendly people.

 

Heike, Gero and Wolfgang

A calm weekend in Lagos

Now I have a calm weekend. It took me three times to get into the National Museum as there was no electricity. Many times there is no electricity in the internet café as well. Quite often when I have written a lot as it was good so far. Generators are everywhere. The infrastructure is behind with the growing hunger of energy of the city. But nobody is upset about it. When I’m thinking about Germany: There are at once complaints when we block the water or damage the electric cable. And that happens very often when we have been the whole day in rain, coldness and mud trying to get the shabby pipeline network to work. Rarely do we get acceptance for our hard work. The time here in Africa is exactly that what I need to get distance and new energy.

A weekend in Lagos

Getting the visa is not as quick as I thought. I get it Monday 1 pm. I’m going to go there by bike so that I can go straight on. It is not bad staying in Lagos as here is very good food. I’m still in my time schedule if there is nothing else to cope with.

As planed in Lagos

It was not difficult to get to Lagos. A city with over 15 Mio inhabitants could be more difficult. I just think of Mexico-city, Bogotá or Lima. Tomorrow I want to go straight away to the consulate of Cameroon to get the visa. If everything will be all right I move on straight away.

Because of the transit visa I have to go through Benin within 48 hours

By lunchtime I have been already in Porto Novo which is just before the border to Nigeria. Tomorrow I want to be at Lagos which is the biggest city of Africa. I’m looking forward to the traffic chaos. There I have to get the visa for Cameroon.

Togo in one day

Yesterday, 4th January, I arrived in Togo. I stayed in the capital Lome for one night. Today I’m going on, leaving Togo and getting to Benin. It is not easy to cope with the humid heat; I’m sweating even on the computer. But I’m going to make now shorter legs so that it will work.

Visa for Nigeria

The Visa
The Visa

Today I got the visa for Nigeria and the receipt for the paid money. As planed I’m going to move on Sunday. The next countries are Togo, Benin, Nigeria and than Cameroon. These are going to be round 2000 km to Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon. I want to stay there the last week in January. 

Thank you very much for the wishes for the New Year.

To all of you: A Happy New Year 2010.

Asking again for a visa

This time I need one for Nigeria. Only in Niger I would have get one. This was the reason why I chose the route through Ghana. The consulate moved not long ago and it needed quite a long time till the taxi driver knew the way. At the entrance I got the form and was been told to come back within one and a half hours. I went to a beer garden to fill in the form (photo). Coming back to the consulate I could see how a recalcitrant applicant was been asked to go. The guard had an automatically weapon in his hand. This was the reason why I was calm by the asked price of the visa of 108 US$. After another dead time they asked me to go away to copy all papers. After I had paid – without getting a receipt – I was allowed to hand over my application and all the originals. I was asked to come back to the consulate Thursday afternoon. I do hope I get my visa than otherwise I have to wait till 4th January. When I left I had been friendly asked to give a small mite for the guards. As I have to come back Thursday I didn’t want to spoil it with them.

Arriving at Accra to Christmas

First of all I wish Merry Christmas to everybody.

 

It took me 11 days from Bamako in Mali to Accra in Ghana and I’m full in my timetable. That has been 1579 km going through hilly countryside and now I need badly a rest. But now I’m going to tell you the adventures from the last 11 days.

 

14 Dec I got the visa for Ghana. Actually I wanted to get the one for Burkina Faso as well, but that would take another day and therefore I took the risk and started at once. After the experience about the visa of Mauritanian the decision wasn’t easy for me. But I knew when I wanted to get to Accra by Christmas I needed this day.

 

After 3 days I arrived at the border to Burkina Faso. It was very easy and friendly with the visa there and I was very relieved. Anyway everywhere I came through the last 11 days it was very friendly. The next evening I arrived in Bobo-Dioulasso which is the second biggest city in Burkina Faso. It the countryside everything is very easy and without problems. Many are lurking in the cities to get a bit of money from the tourists. The best thing is to get through it with humour, but I had to get quite a few things as I wanted to go on the next day. In front of the supermarket where I did my shopping a man in a wheelchair begged very aggressive. He followed me and I thought by me that this way of begging couldn’t be with success. Or was it on the time that he met a real Swabian (the people in this area are told to be very economical)? Anyway I told him in German what I was thinking about it. As my pitch of voice was clearly he got anguish and he turned off as he wasn’t sure about foreigners. I met a few more “friends”, who haven’t been uninterested what I wanted. But there are only a few who are able to get my mood in a bad sense. Anyway I did know what I wanted and I got on the next morning.

 

My shortcut to Ghana was very dusty but it was very good for biking. My calculated daytrips which I needed to get for Christmas to Accra have been on my upper limit. It was hot with head wind and it was going up and down and the air got more humid as well. In this heat I wasn’t able to eat much therefore I had to life on my fat reserves which I had luckily. Everything which I got to eat was not very good and there are hardly any fruits in the north of Ghana. But I got beer and cola. Because of sweating a lot and dusty roads I have been an exemplar of German cleanliness! Every evening I needed 1.5 l water, but the effect didn’t last long! On Christmas Eve I arrived in Accra.

In Burkina Faso

This evening I arrived in Bobo-Dioulasso and tomorrow I want to go further on direction Ghana. I’m going to write from there again. Here is the internet very slow and it is already very late. Please excused me but I like to be at Christmas on the sea.

Birthday wishes

Dear Maria Luise,

 

For your 80th Birthday tomorrow all the best!

At the moment I’m in Bobo-Dioulasso in Burkina Faso. I’m not able to write E-mail. Till Christmas I will arrive in Accra in Ghana.

 

All the best from Raimund

A few more stories

As I got the visa for Mali I went on the same afternoon. Still in Nouakchott a car driver stopped me and told me that the road wouldn’t be something for tourists. He thought I could get attacked. But I’m not afraid of a road in Mauritania. I couldn’t convince him and made me on my way. Because there wasn’t hardly any wind I made 67 km.

 

I was going to use the convenient weather and started at 3.30 a.m. (sunrise 7 a.m.). The sky was cloudy and I could be on the bike the whole day. Despite easy head wind and always up and down made I 203 km.

 

Concerning a sleeping berth I wasn’t choosy. I drove through the arid grass behind a bush. In the morning I noticed that the back tire and my airbed had a puncture. The grass-seeds which have been between the grasses had long thorns. It was still dark as I repaired the tire. It didn’t last long and it was without air again because I haven’t seen all thorns. A bit further on the front tire had a puncture. And about lunchtime the back tire again. To repair it I went into the shadow of two trucks. I got assistance from the drivers and co-drivers. They invited me to eat with them. That reconciled me with Mauritania.

 

Regrettably the children who are begged got awkward. Because I didn’t give something I heard strewing stones behind me. I haven’t been the aim but it wasn’t nice at all. Anyway the children can’t realize that I’m not able to give all something. And what would be when I gave something and the next biker didn’t? And who would be aided with a few coins? It isn’t my problem if the country can’t feed all its inhabitants and from every single hut are coming countless children. Sorry, but I can’t help.

 

Otherwise it was a normal bike-day and my weakness has finished. Once I got milk from a camel and now and than I got some German long lasting milk. I get fruits, bread, cheese and jam. The countryside changed in Mali, it got greener and I could buy a big delicious water melon. Half of it I shared with the people I bought it from. It was a really festive lunch. And at the end I had a super meal at the roadside. The lean times are over! And now I had to go into Bamako. It was difficult to get orientation because there aren’t any signs of the names of the streets. And I got into the town on another road as I thought. Therefore I took any hotel but I’m pleased with it. Unfortunately it is weekend again and it takes time for the visa.

In Mali

Yesterday evening I arrived in Bamako, the capitol of Mali. The head wind was the biggest problem. But there have been clouds and it wasn’t so hot. The food was lean and I got milk of camel. My stomach didn’t complain and I was in good form. In 10 days I made 1459 km. On the photo I’m on the balcony of the hotel. In the background one can see the cathedral. Today I asked for the visa for Ghana, I’ll get it on Monday. When I’m going to have my passport on Monday I’ll go straight away to the consulate of Burkina Faso and perhaps I’m able to go further on Tuesday. Till then I can rest and eat a lot.

I’m going on

Today I got the visa, now I’m going on. I certainly won’t have the opportunity to get internet within the next few days.

Only 824 km to Nouakchott

overnight stay at the border 23th-24th November 2009
overnight stay at the border 23th-24th November 2009

Saturday, 21st November 2009

Already yesterday in Rabat I felt not very good in my stomach. This morning I was'nt able to eat or to drink something, but I wanted to go further on. Therefore I was biking against the wind out of Dakhla. It was very hot and I was very thirsty, but I hardly wasn't able to drink something. After 30  km I was very sick and I vomitted an enormous amount. I was surprised how much fits in me. At the service station 10 km further on I bought the first Cola. The policemen at the control position invited me. I didn't want to be unkindly and trank one glas of tea and ate a bit bread. I would'nt tell them how I felt, otherwise they would have sent me back. After I had taken the nearly 180° bend to South, the wind changed as well so that I had still head wind. After 103 km I built up my tend and climbed down to the Atlantic sea to cool down my hot body.

 

Sunday, 22nd November 2009

The wind wasn't so bad anymore. But I still was not able to drink and to eat much. During lunchtime I could ly down at a petrol station. In the evening, after 128 km, I did have another bath in the sea.

 

Monday, 23rd November 2009

In the morning I was alright again, I was able to eat and to drink properly. At last I had following wind! After 60 km there was again a service station. There I had camel in the restaurant. It took a long time for the exit-formalities. The officer at the border was very kind let me in front because the border is closing at 6 pm. There are still 3 km till the Mauritanian border station and one can't camping as there are mines. After 150 km I spent the night at the border in a tent accommodation (photo).

 

Tuesday, 24th November 2009

I've had the whole day very heavy head wind. I've had an average of 13 km/h for the 117 km. After that I was totally wiped out. I stayed in a tent again. The rice with meat which I ate there was like a rock in my stomach.

 

Wednesday, 25th November 2009

In the morning I felt all right and the wind was all right as well. I  knew from my last trip that I would find a good place for lunchtime. Just after 1 pm I was there and they weren't surprised as I ordered chicken with chips. After 156 km I built my tend behind a sand hill and I had noral appetite again.

 

Thursday, 26. November 2009

Today I had to bike very  hard: head wind! The whole day there was nothing but a few tents or shacks. In one of them I got ananas in a tin which was a  nice change. In another I bought water and wanted to stay during the midday heat with coke. A small boy was facinated from the white parts of my skin which are protected by my sandels from the sun. The plump advance of a "nice girl" was too much for me so that I went on. Actuall I had to do 170 km against the wind. It took me till 8 pm to get to Nouakchott and I hoped to get the visa for Mali on Friday.

 

Friday, 27th November 2009

In the morning my first way was to try to get the visa for Mali. I was been told in the hotel already that now are 4 days bank holidays! Therefore I can go to the consulate on Tuesday. The most of the shops are closed and there is nothing to do.

No internet in the Sahara desert

Today at 8 p.m. I'm going to be in Dakhla again. There I will buy something to eat and tomorrow morning I'm going on. Till the capital of Mauritania I won't have internet. It's going to be round 1000 km till there and I'm going to tell from there again.

My most expensive entry in the passport

The visa
The visa

Such an effort for the few lines. They did it certainly so quick as in January at the border. It needs one whole page of the passport. But I don't need to complain as it is getting always more with the bureaucracy in our country as well. What is wasted by this there could be much done to reduce the misery in the world. Perhaps the powerfull could think about of intelligent and effectice forms of the organisation of living together on the earth. But I expect there would be a committee of a few people who would earn a lot of money. Actually I don't know what would be the best.

No visa

Since a long time one could get the visa to Mauritania at the border between Morocco and Mauritania. Since 12 days it is not possible anymore. Of course it took a while till such news came to me on the road. I got notice of it the last days therefore I decided to go to Dakhla. Before the weekend I couldn't hit something at Rabat anyway. Sunday I would have been in Dakhla if the wind wouldn't slow me down. Monday, 16th November just before sunset, after 180 km, I arrived at Dakhla. Luckily I knew everything there, so that I didn't need much time for having a shower and getting shaved. Certainly I was going to inform myself how to get to Rabat the next day. By bus it would take me 17 hours and there was only one seat free. The airport is only a few minutes from the hotel and I saw already by reaching it that there are still activities. I was been told that there is a flight to Casablanca in one hour. Therefore I had to decide immediately: going to the bank, clearing my room, putting the bike somewhere and packing the most important things. After 1h 45 min I was at Casablanca and there are still 100 km to Rabat. At 2 o'clock in the night I have been in bed at least. And that all for the officialism!

At the moment I'm not so glad about Mauritania and I do hope to get a few invitations to tea so that my mood is getting better!

Still I have no visa and we will see when I'm able to go further on. At the moment I'm waiting in Rabat. Today, 17th November, I could hand over the application. There have been a lot of people in front of the one counter. Tomorrow is Bank holiday and I shall get my visa on Thursday.

I'm going to take a picture of it to show it to you.

In Tarfaya

Above Tarfaya
Above Tarfaya

The 500 km from Agadir to here have been without assistance of wind, but I do hope it will come. You see me on the roof of the hotel where I'm staying. In the background you see the Atlantic and round about 100 km far away there are the Canary Islands. I'm already in the Sahara dessert, but still with convenient temperatures and good supply with food and drinking.

Well rested in Agadir

Brilliant waves and water temperature of 18°C
Brilliant waves and water temperature of 18°C

My good time without bike is nearly going to its end, but now I'm getting restless to go ahead. As you see very well I have enough on my ribs for going on. I fell very well and want to go on tomorrow. I know the leg through the Sahara dessert and it won't be without problems when the wind will be all right. However the dessert will have certainly some adventures for me, I'm not calculating with right now.

The way to Agadir

Last Saturday I must have eaten bad fish, therefore I've been in bed the whole Sunday. Monday I took off with potatoes chips and coke. Till lunchtime I was able to eat something again. During the night I sweated very much so that I thought of malaria. Tuesday everything was all right again and I got up to 2100m without difficulty. There I stayed for the night (foto) and I could talk with Peter a long time. Peter comes from Switzerland and is travelling by bike as well. He is 66 years old and has a lot of experiences. When he was young he was a flower child and was travelling with a cargo ship which was transporting bananas to Equador and so on. We didn't had time to come to the end and his life certainly would give an excellent book.

Sometimes I was jetting down the hill and always along the abysm. The asphalt was too bumpy to get really quick. First I thought it will be easy to get to Agadir, but than there came a heavy head wind and it was not necessary to give my very best. Having heavy wind, dusty roads and sweaty effort means to look not very nice, in fact one is very dirty! I bought some water and something to eat and somewhere has been a 90° bend. Because of this I got a puncture, but there was some water so that I could clean myself a bit.

The night was very calm, I could hear only a quicky noise which I didn't know where it came from. Next morning I saw a small dog which was lying near my tent.Then sharing water, bread and cheese. The puncture was easy to repair without getting the wheel out. The dog was good as well, it didn't follow me!

Not very far I met Said, a young man who invited me at once. His mother put everything on the table and his father was very pleased to have someone from Germany in his house. This showed me what hospitality means!

Sometime I managed the last kilometers to Agadir. Now I'm going to have a few calm days there.

After 5 weeks in Marrakesch

In front of my room
In front of my room

First I was going to go east of the Atlas mountains. Now I'm glad I took the easier way. I can use the energy which I saved at another time.

Yesterday, 23rd October 2009, I arrived at Marrakesch. The hotel I'm staying in is at the plaza "Djemaa el Fna". There is always a lot to see and to do at the plaza (eating, drinking, jugglers, storytellers, snake charmers, musicians, acrobats....).

Unfortunately I wasn't able to put the new photos on the homepage.

At Rabat

In fromt of the old town of Rabat
In fromt of the old town of Rabat

Again one day rest, but such a good place for getting something to eat is exactly right now. Before I'm going to go through the Sahara Dessert I will rebound of the previous exertion. Although I didn't had time enough to get ready for my tour before I took off I'm good in time now.

 

Next weekend I'm going to be at Marakesch. When the weather is going to be all right I'm going to go through the Atlas mountains to get to Agadir. When I'm there I'm going to have a break of about 10 days. There I have to check up the bike as well. Afterwards the passing of the Sahara Dessert will be in my personal minimum time.

 

At Kamerun there will be a longer stay. By than I will have 10,000 km. I'm looking forward to it very much as there is a project to my biketour at the Goetheinstitut in Yaonde. Therefore my best regards to Yaonde. That is a very good motivation for me! Thank you very much.

At Chefchaouen

Yesterday I arrived at Chefchaouen in the north of Morocco. The 80 km from the coast of the Mediterranean Sea up to here have been very hard. As I came through the old city an English couple (Nicki and Dave) talked to me. They told me that they are on the way with their bikes as well. Luckily they stayed in the same hotel as I was looking for. Finally it was very fast to find something to stay at. I'm going to hand them out a cup of coffee. 

Crossing to Africa

Today, just before lunch, I took the ferry to Ceuta/Africa. This part belongs still to Spain. Unfortunately the ferry was a speedboot so that I couldn't go outside. I intend to take my route to Agadir east of the Atlas Mountains.

Video to the solidarity tour

Regrettably I can let you see a video which is showing the arriving in Memmingen by now.

Once without saddlebags in Valencia

Placa de la virgen
Placa de la virgen

 

Tomorrow I’m going to leave Valencia and before that I’m going a last time through the old city of Valencia. The whole time I’ve spent here the weather was perfect. But I’ve had my first flat tire and that without having my tools with me which have been in the saddlebags. I’m good recovered though that I can start tomorrow in good conditions. Being in the timetable I can make the legs shorter. My intention is to arrive at Agadir beginning of November, till mid October I will arrive at Africa.

Visiting the University of Valencia

In the lab
In the lab